Category Archives: food

Tribute – don’t eat that

How do you capture a broken heart in a blog post?  How do you convey the tears that are still unshed and building up behind your eyes?  How do you write about a grief so raw?

On 11/2/18, Otis passed away.  For those of you that don’t know Otis, he was our beagle.  We got him when he was a few days shy of 6 weeks old.  I don’t recall why we got him so early, other than I think they were just ready to have those puppies gone.  We loved him from the second he was handed to me and nuzzled under my chin whimpering.  We had him 15 years.  782 weeks and 4 days that he was on this Earth and that much time that he wormed his way into our hearts and lives.

After he passed, several people said they felt like they knew him from my posts on social media.  He was always a source of a funny story or crazy antics.  He was a source of amusement to a lot of people.  To us he was family.  He was the glue that held us together during times we couldn’t get out of bed.  He was the laughter in our house when all we had were tears.  He was 15 years of routines.  He was the constant in our lives.  He was our everything.

I have several blog post that I have been trying to get updated and posted.  Then this happened and I stalled more than usual.  I have started to write this post a million times and haven’t been able to come up with the words.  I keep writing about his last week with us, and his last days, and his last minutes.  I just can’t get through it.  I keep writing about what he meant to us and fall short.  So I decided until I can post those things, I will write about some of his antics.

Everyone told me after he died that they knew he crossed the rainbow bridge and was playing like he never played before.  I sort of agree.  I kind of feel like heaven to our beagle and his mischief soul would be eating things he shouldn’t and not getting in trouble.  I was thinking about that the other day and made a list of the things Otis ate while here.  So my post today is a tribute to my sweet puppy and the things he ate.

This is not a complete list but the things we could remember.  This does not include things that he ate off the floor while we cooked, or dropped while we ate, or the things he ate while in my parents presence that they didn’t report.  Reading through this list makes me feel like an irresponsible pet owner. In our defense we always tried to push things to the back of the counter.  We always tried to puppy proof the motor home.  He was just so patient he would wait on that one slip up to go for the goods.  He knew better and we always had to tell him, not yours and don’t eat that.  Sometimes he would tell on himself and would come up to us and put his head down and lean into us.  Other times he would excitedly jump up and down pawing on us like come look what I did!

  • Ham (Stolen off plates, platters, floors, hands).
  • Ham biscuits (He stole those when my grandfather passed away.  He snuck in the kitchen after someone brought them and took two before I noticed my dad laughing because he knew what he was doing).
  • Chocolate Covered Cherries (He snuck those while we were in the motor home at the Charlotte races.  They made him really hyper (like psychotic) and he threw up).
  • M&Ms (Dark chocolate.  Ate those while with my parents.  He was so sick.  Several after hours calls to the vet.  A trip to Walmart at 3 AM.  He got a few other M&Ms here and there, some fun packs etc, but never an entire large bag).
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (He snuck one from my purse – left over from lunch.  He stole a few off a plate off a counter).
  • Ressee Cups (He stole those out of my mom’s purse – it was her emergency chocolate).
  • Hersey Kisses (He stole those after our wedding.  They were part of our favors.  He opened some of them and ate just the chocolate and on some he ate the foil.  He pooped foil for a week).
  • Hersey Kiss wrappers (He would steal candy wrappers all the time.  He loved the foil from Kisses).
  • Life savers (He stole these after our wedding too.  They were also part of our favors).
  • Coffee beans (He opened my brother in laws Christmas gift and ate some coffee.  I also had a center piece for a table that had coffee beans.  When I would mix them around to make the aroma spread through the room and beans would fall to the ground he would gobble them up).
  • Tortillas (My parents went to Sam’s and got the largest size bag of soft tortillas.  While unattended in the motor home he grabbed them opened them and ate part of them.  He flung the rest of them around the motor home).
  • Spaghetti (Same trip as the tortillas – he grabbed the unopened noodles off the counter and had a fun day).
  • Gravy (Also in the motor home at the race, he jumped on the counter and licked the gravy spoon and the left over gravy after breakfast).
  • Bible (Bought Andy a brand new Bible (The Message) and Otis shredded that thing).
  • Norman Rockwell Book (Chewed on the spin of the book.  We still have it and laugh each time we see it.  Granted Andy was so mad when it first happened).
  • Rainbow flip flops (Andy’s pair.  Andy was mad).
  • Boxers (He always would grab a pair of Andy’s boxers and chew on them.  Right out of the laundry hamper or the dryer he didn’t care).
  • Socks (This might have been our mistake.  His first toy was a sock tied in knots.  He loved grabbing socks and chewing on them.  It was a challenge to put shoes on around him, when he was a puppy he would attack your feet trying to get the sock).
  • Plant (He dug up our “love fern.”  Andy gets made when I call our plant that, but I find it hilarious.  Watch How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.  He pulled it up while he was locked in his crate.  He bounced his crate across the kitchen and grabbed the plant and dug it up.  Twice).
  • 3 crates (He chewed on 3 crates.  To the point that we had to have metal welded on, chains applied, and locks attached).
  • Towels (Too many to count. When we first started crating him we tried to put them in there so he would have something to lay on.  He shredded each and every one).
  • Blankets (He destroyed several.  He dug a hole in a few while playing with Andy.  He also shredded some that we tried putting in his crate).
  • Abercrombie Coat Zipper (Andy’s coat.  He destroyed the sipper.  Luckily the coat is still wearable, but just doesn’t zip).
  • Suite Coat (A Christmas gift for Andy from me.  Otis ripped the pocket off the coat, making it trash.  It was a really expensive suite that was bought with pennies saved at a time we didn’t need to spend that kind of money.  I was the most mad about that one).
  • Candy wrappers (He would find any and all candy wrappers.  Sneak them off the end tables by the couch, out of the trash, if there was a candy wrapper around.  He found it and would try to eat it before you noticed).
  • Snotty tissues (Yes it is gross.  He loved a tissue full of snot.  Cold season was his favorite time of year.  He would sneak into the bathrooms and look for tasty treats.  He would come back wagging his tail with tissue stuck in his teeth.  Most of the time we would flush the tissues, put it in the kitchen trash which was in a cabinet, or elevate the small trashcan where he couldn’t reach it).
  • Gum (He would get this out of my purse especially if I left him in the car alone.  Or he would find it in the car because Andy would leave some in his door some of the time).
  • Sour Patch Kids (After the M&M incident mom was more careful with leaving chocolate in her purse.  At the race she assured me her purse was puppy safe.  After 10 minutes he could sour patch kids in her purse.  He loved them).
  • Cough drops (He also loved eating cough drops when he could find them usually stolen out of a purse, a coat pocket, the bed, off the dresser).
  • Bread (This is not limited to just slices of bread, but entire loafs of bread.  He would steal them off the counter and off plates while we were trying to fix sandwiches.  He would grab the loaf off the counter and hid in the kitchen eating his loot.  He preferred homemade over store bought, but he would eat it all).
  • Fried Chicken (He stole dad, mom, and Candy’s left over chicken off the counter and ate it all.
  • Hamburger buns (Stolen off the counter)
  • Bag of brown sugar (Stolen off the island in the kitchen.  I put everything out to bake cookies and ran to answer my phone which was in the living room.  Came back and got another bag of sugar out because I didn’t see the other one and thought I hadn’t set it out.  I Heard something weird and looked on the other side of the table and his little beagle face was covered in brown sugar.  He ripped open the bag and there were clumps of it every where).
  • Futon Mattress (He dug several holes in several futon mattresses.  It was part of his separation anxiety and his humans didn’t realize what we could do to help at that point in time).
  • Soap (He ate an entire bar of soap after we put him on anxiety medicines for his separation anxiety.  It gave him the munchies and he ate an entire bar of soap.  He was so sick for a day.  He puked in the bed twice that night, and was miserable the next day).
  • Pizza (He convinced his cousin Haley the dog to get it off the counter – he was still a young puppy and couldn’t reach it.  They shared an entire large pizza).
  • Carpet (He dug up and chewed the carpet at two houses.  Kingsport Hwy house in TN and Clayford Ridge house in NC).
  • Door Frames (He ate door frames at 4 houses.  Clayford Ridge, Kirkcaldy Lane, Amber Mist Lane, and Kingsport Hwy).
  • Window sills (He destroyed several in the Clayford Ridge house and chewed on one at Amber Mist Ln).
  • Blinds (He destroyed several sets at Clayford Ridge.  We have one set in our house now that has an Otis tooth puncture mark in it).
  • Toilet paper rolls (He only did that once, maybe twice.  But he shredded an entire roll of toilet paper).
  • Magazines (As a puppy he shredded and chewed on a handful of magazines).
  • Fried pickles and tater tots (He stole my parents left overs off the counter).
  • Finger nails/toe nails (Gross like the tissues, but he would go through the trash and get them out.  Makes me gag thinking about it).
  • Hair (Technically he wouldn’t seek out the hair, but in digging through the trash could end up eating some).
  • Ravioli lid (The week before he died he snuck a lid out of the trash and enjoyed licking it clean.  So thankful he didn’t cut his mouth).
  • Blue Marker (He turned his white fur blue for a few days until it wore off).
  • Glasses case (He got it out of my purse while he was looking for food, and it now has his teeth marks on it).
  • Napkins in cars (He loved napkins in cars.  He would find them and shred them in the car).
  • Treat Jar Lid (My mom got him a nice treat jar with a wooden lid.  He got the lid off Andy’s desk and chewed part of the wood off and left his bite marks all over it).
  • Electric cord (For a long time he was terrified of cords so we assume he got zapped when he chewed it).
  • Water bottles (Or soda bottles.  Otis would chew on the lids making them come off.  He didn’t care if there was liquid or not, he would still take the lid off and spill stuff everywhere).
  • Trash (He absolutely loved going through the trash can.  It was like the best scavenger hunt ever).
  • Trash (Not in a trash can.  If you left a cup on the coffee table and it had ice cream in it, or a yogurt container, of a bowl that had peanuts in it – you better believe he would get it before you cleaned up).
  • Trash (One time he drug an entire trash bag into the guest bedroom and hid it so he could go through it later.  We put it by the door to take it to the dump.  Went outside to pick up trash next to the road to take when we went.  We came back inside and the bag was gone.  Otis was sitting on the couch looking guilty, but we couldn’t prove anything.  We searched the house and couldn’t find it.  We gave up, knowing he would lead us to it later.  Later that night he snuck off and we heard the rustling of a bag.  We went in the guest bedroom and on the other side of the bed partially shoved under the bed was the beagle and a giant trash bag that he was going through).

I know that I am forgetting things.  Probably hilarious things.  He was a sneaky little critter that wanted to explore the world with his nose.  His nose normally led him to something he thought he could eat.  He is missed, his antics are missed.  I have had a cold and my little trash can of tissues makes me choke up thinking about all the times I had to pick up shredded tissues.


this year for lent andy and i actually gave up something and stuck with it.  we gave up fried food and sodas (for andy) and fried food and anything but water for me.  i was so proud of us.  we actually did it.  it was something that carried over and we are still doing well with trying to keep those types of food off the menu. 

leading up to Easter Sunday Jamie (the preacher at the church we attend) did a sermon on forgiveness.  i will admit that i am still a little upset at his sermon that day – he stepped on my toes a little bit.  he talked about needing to forgive people in our lives.  as he talked my brain scrambled to process how i felt about forgiveness.  it made me think that Jesus forgives us and made his ultimate sacrifice on the cross to show that forgiveness otherwise he wouldn’t have died for us.  by the end of the sermon i had some new revelations on forgiveness.  1. just because you forgive someone it doesn’t mean you have to resume the relationship.  2. it doesn’t mean that you have to be in their lives and them in yours.  3. it doesn’t erase the hurt, but it helps.  4. it doesn’t make you forget the past but rather gives a new perspective on those past events.  at Easter we are reminded of God’s love and the ultimate sacrifice of forgiveness and it reminds me of my constant selfishness of having a difficult time forgiving others.  thanks jamie for stepping on my toes and opening me up to new revelations of forgiveness that i am still thinking on – months later. 

on to Easter lunch…

with the exception of last year we have spent every year eating Easter lunch with andy’s family.  we have a ton of food and a good time visiting with family.  last year we went to my grandmother’s house but since she wasn’t feeling well this year mom and i were responsible for Easter lunch.  we had fun (ok i don’t know that mom had much fun, but i thought it was fun).  we planned a menu (in like 10 minutes): deviled eggs, rolls, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, corn, and ham and peanut butter pie for dessert – simple but delicious.

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so my pictures of the food look a little blah but the food was so incredibly yummy.

and our guest list (me, andy, mom, dad, grandmama, aunt hilda, and of course otis).  we ate outside since it was a beautiful day (a little cool but nice).

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otis helped in the kitchen (by hoping that everyone would drop food – he was underfoot just in case).  he also enjoyed our time on the porch in the sunshine. 

we had amazing decorations for the table

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at walmart we picked up a “bunny mum” and added him to our serving table.  isn’t it cute?  if you don’t think so then you are on andy’s side.  he thought it was ridiculous but i thought it was cute and fun to say – bunny mum.  we also had a candle tree from our wedding! 

we hated that we couldn’t be in charlotte for Easter, but i did enjoy cooking with mom this year. 

wellingtons and rock stars…

i don’t know if i posted anything about the video contest at church so to catch you up if i didn’t…there was a video contest at the church.  (the groups had to create a video based on their interpretation of a scripture).  the grand prize was star treatment for the night.  the group that won had 5 people in it so the night went something like this.

we met at the church and took the church bus to johnson city.  (we looked into a limo and that was WAY too expensive so church bus it was – and they always beg to go in the bus).  we got on the bus and told them their two choices for dinner and the chose wellingtons.  as we started our trip to jc i gave them all a beverage (like on a plane but without the rolly cart and the peanuts/pretzels and the pink cocktail napkins smelled like old people).  we had left over drinks from another event so they had limited options and small cups – so just like a plane.  instead of a salty snack all we had to offer them were skittles.  holden made our reservation while we were driving down the road – did you know they had an ap for that?  we got to the restaurant and parked down the street because the bus was too big (and like stars that have to walk everywhere – or something).  they weren’t ready for us so we sat in the lounge area and had some waters and sodas.  we got seated at the table and ordered.  i had the filet and it was wonderful.  seriously the best steak i have had since we have moved.  i think it compares to the ones at firebirds.  (side note: we had firebirds when we were in charlotte last weekend and i almost cried because it was so good and i missed it).  when the check was paid we looked out (because the lights flashed and realized that it was storming like crazy).  andy ran to get the bus.  we treated the kids to starbucks and then headed home.  (we were nervous that the dog was going to need a bath since it was raining and storming…but he was good – and the power even flashed).

it was a wonderful night celebrating their victory and finding a great fancy place to go eat and celebrate birthdays.

dinner and a panic attack

now doesn’t that sound like a fun date?  dinner and a panic attack?  ok well no i don’t guess it does…i will start with dinner first

in middle school i gained a new friend (we didn’t go to elementary school together) and her name was carol hill.  we used to have sleep overs, call the radio station at all hours of the night, hike on her grandpa’s farm, play with her brothers, and she even went to TN with me one time.  in high school we didn’t have many classes together but we kept in touch and in senior year we had biology together.  we had a blast sitting in the back (not really listening) and since it was the first class of the day we would take turns bringing in chick-fil-a for breakfast.  she helped me through that awful year of school.  she is not carol hill anymore because she married her high school sweetheart (awww’s would be appropriate now) she is carol miller.  we have always been those types of friends that can not talk for a few months and pick right back up, but we know that during the times we aren’t in constant contact that if either of us needs something we are right there.  all that to say that last night was a me and carol dinner night.  we try to meet and have dinner and catch up on life.  well carol didn’t bring q-ball but we still had a great time catching up.  (she adopted a sweet boy see how cute he is?)

we always have fun on girls night.  🙂

ok panic attack.  i applied for a few jobs last night and it was very stressful for me.  i guess i don’t really feel qualified for anything else since i have been here so long.  but i filled one out for the children’s hospital.  it makes me a little nervous that i haven’t heard anything from another person that i e-mailed but i am sure it will be ok.  at least i hope.  andy hears today in about 30 minutes if the job is a go or not.  i am just praying that if it is a go we will know what the right thing is and that things fall right into place.  after i cried crocodile tears into my computer (because the application was so annoying) i felt much better and have been fine all day.

in other news.  my living room is still a disaster and i will work on it tonight and this weekend.  we also got the insurance money for the roof.  we are going to call the roof guy tomorrow or saturday and get moving on that.  wish us luck.


happy thanksgiving!

i am so thankful for my  husband.  i can’t imagine where my life would have taken me without him in my life.  we don’t claim to have a perfect marriage but what we have is perfect for us.  he is my best friend, my rock, and my soul mate.  i love you andy.

i am so very thankful for family.  i know growing up i could be a pain and moody (but really what teenager isn’t?) and my parents were always there for me (usually giving me really early curfews – thanks dad or threatening to throw my toys away – thanks mom).  but i learned unconditional love from them and for that i will always be grateful.  i love you two.

we are so very thankful for our home and that we have shelter each night.  we are thankful for our jobs (even if sometimes we would rather sleep in and not go to the office).  we are thankful that we are able to cook and eat yummy food and clean and take care of the things that we have.  we are thankful for being able to get our and about and for our car.  we are thankful for being able to laugh until we cry and cry until we laugh.  we are thankful for our friends and for family.  we are thankful for the changing seasons.  and as much as he can drive us crazy we are thankful for our gee.  as i sit here and watch santa arrive on the macy’s day parade i realize that i need to make my list for black friday shopping.  happy thanksgiving!  enjoy your day and don’t eat too much!

treat for santa

this year we have decided that we aren’t going to just put out milk and cookies for santa’s visit up on our roof.  we are going to change it up and make things a little more interesting…

1. we are going to leave egg nog instead of milk.  (we got a letter that he prefers it – in this house at least).

2. we are going to leave some homemade chocolate chip cookies and cookie dough truffles.

3. since santa’s safety is so important to us we are going to replace our roof. 

a lot of people in our neighborhood have gotten new roofs over the summer and early fall.  people have been walking our neighborhood trying to get our business and we have said no thank you and closed our door.  well we have heard of more people getting roofs and we watched the neighbors across the street sign contracts, so we decided in the event that we do put the house on the market a new roof would be an added bonus (and everyone has been getting them done because of hail and wind damage).  so we consulted some people in the neighborhood and went with meridian construction group.  we got word while we were in little rock that we have been approved for a new roof.  we are really excited that santa will have a safe place to land this christmas but a little sad that our roof had hail and wind damage.  when we drove up last night we had white marks on our roof from the adjuster. 

you’re welcome santa

tis the season

We got him to sit long enough last year to get this.

i am a little concerned about this holiday season.  it seems that we are decorating and promoting christmas before we even cook a turkey.  on the way to work today we saw our little town of mint hill with the christmas wreaths hung on the lamp-post, the tree was being decorated with lights on the outside of the town hall, i have seen houses with lights all over the exterior, i have heard rumblings of people decorating the inside of their houses already, stores are playing christmas music while you shop for christmas accessories (that have been out since september).  i wish that we could slow down a little bit and enjoy thanksgiving (my favorite part is the dressing and green bean casserole).  however seeing the wreaths this morning made my heart smile just a little bit more.

i love holidays and if i had to label one as my favorite it would be christmas.  i think i love christmas the most because it was and is one of the few times i get to see family during the year.  we don’t do family reunions we do christmas.  in my memory it has always been a collective effort (even more so today).  i love the decorations and the history and stories (biblical and secular).  i love the food and i love trying to find everyone the perfect gift for the holiday.  with the perfect gift comes shopping.  we went to the mall last night and there was barely a soul there.  it was wonderful.  i like shopping and walking around and finding the best deals, but i can’t stand shopping when you can’t move in stores and everyone is bumping in to you.  i will say that next year we might do all of our christmas shopping 2 monday’s before thanksgiving.  as for this year we will put our hesitation about bumping into people at the mall and will join a ton of other crazy people on “black friday”  the past few years me and andy have gotten up early and ventured out.  we have found some great deals.  andy some sperry boat shoes for $6.00, a printer/scanner for around $20.00, coffee maker for $5.00, great dvds for $1-3.00, ins and outs for under $10.00. 

we haven’t started decorating yet (we usually do the day before thanksgiving or thanksgiving night).  we are waiting to see what happens with our weekend trip to little rock before we make house decisions for this holiday season.  even if we don’t go all out like we normally do i will dig through our christmas totes and get out a few things to remind us of the season and the hope and future that it brings. 

Just incase here is our tree from last year (and otis rolling around looking at gifts)

 happy shopping and getting ready for the season even if it is before turkey day!